I sometimes forget how fortunate I am that I don’t work for an employer. I’m spoilt after 15 years of being my own boss and probably would be a terrible employee. Working in a creative industry it is sometimes difficult not to take criticism very personally. Even though it is rare for me to have a client say something insulting about my music work I will admit that the smallest comment is enough to keep me up at night. The odd thing is that I am a tough customer when it comes to service at restaurants or shops and I’m not shy when it comes to pointing out any shortcomings in quality. Yes I’m afraid I’m a hypocrite. I’m tipping that this trait is not unusual amongst creatives.
Producing music material under the direction of advertising companies or film directors is a great way to zap yourself of all confidence in your own musicality. They always want to change your work in some way, and usually to the detriment of the music (in my opinion).
A good example presented itself to me yesterday…..I just finished writing and producing a jingle for one of the major advertising companies in Australia. They wanted a fun, upbeat groovy track for a new product. I delivered the funkiest, grooviest track I could in the given time (another gripe of mine is the expectation to have high quality music produced within extremely unreasonable deadlines!). It shaped up well and I was very pleased with it. The response from the agency was….”Can you perhaps make it less cool and more benign?” Ok I appreciate that a lot of market research and discussion goes into decisions about colours, tone and pace of an ad campaign, not to mention the target demographic etc. But from a composers point of view these kinds of requests are so disappointing. Here is another opportunity to get my music onto TV and into the houses of millions of people…..I want it to ROCK!……not be benign!
It’s no wonder that succesful composers are often a pain to work with. Being pigheaded is probably the easiest way to have your creative way. Just another reason I am looking forward to this project!